This Michelin-starred Italian chef is planning a restaurant chain serving free food made from scraps | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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This Michelin-starred Italian chef is planning a restaurant chain serving free food made from scraps

Italian Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura plans to open two new restaurants in Paris and Naples next year, where food will be made from supermarket scraps and served for free to the poor.

more lifestyle Updated: Dec 23, 2017 12:44 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
Michelin,Food,Italian chef
Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is planning a charitable experiment. (Reuters)

Italian Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura plans to open two new restaurants in Paris and Naples next year, but wealthy diners are not welcome. The food will be free, made from supermarket scraps and served only to the poor. Bottura’s prestigious restaurant in Modena, northern Italy, charges around 250 euros a head.

But in Milan, his Refettorio Ambrosiano feeds the poor, many of them homeless — and now he plans to expand the charitable experiment further. Housed in an old theatre on the outskirts of the city, the Refettorio cooks free meals with leftovers from shops, following recipes created by Bottura and other famous cooks.

Refettorio Ambrosiano feeds the poor, many of them homeless. (Reuters)

“I never thought these ingredients were waste,” he says, adding, “I always thought that bread crumbs, some overripe tomatoes and brown bananas are opportunities for us to show what we can do with our creativity.”

Bottura started the project in 2015 to reuse leftovers from the eateries of Milan’s international Expo. About one-third of the food produced worldwide each year, around 1.3 billion tonnes, is wasted or lost, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

With the support of church foundation Caritas Ambrosiana, the initiative has become a permanent project. Unlike traditional soup kitchens, guests don’t queue. Everyone gets served at the table. “I call it a restaurant, not a soup kitchen,” Bottura said.

This limits the number of daily guests to 96, but Bottura and Caritas say it helps them regain confidence and take back control of their lives. “Quantity does not define success,” said Caritas head Luciano Gualzetti. “The way you offer your help is the key and it is even more important what your help can trigger in them.”

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